Two days ago in my post on why there would not be a general election until 2022 I observed that there have been very few by elections in CON held seats in recent times. Tory MPs have been a lot healthier than LAB ones.
What CON by-elections defences there have been have been caused by other factors such as the weird resignation by the then shadow Home Secretary David Davis in 2008 so he could fight his own seat for reasons that have long since been forgotten.
In the current Parliament apart from possible actions by the courts which we cannot speculate upon my suggestion for the first by-election in a Tory seat would be Maidenhead.
This was retained by the Prime Minister with a whopping vote share of 64.8% on June 8th with LAB on 19.3% and the LDs on 11.1%.
Against the national trend which was an average vote increase of 5.8% by Tory candidates TMay’s vote went down by 1.1% but it still looks totally solid. It would be hard to see a by-election there as anything other than a CON hold with perhaps a reduced majority on a lower turnout.
In spite of her survival since the conference TMay’s position remains precarious and wasn’t helped yesterday by another PMQs mauling at the hands of Corbyn.
If she is replaced as leader then like the former PMs of late who quit between general elections, Tony Blair and David Cameron, it is hard to see her wanting to continue as an MP.
In any case we are all aware of her diabetes and it is always possible that her departure could be prompted by her health rather than any political move.
Remember that morning last April when we were all standing by for an announcement from Downing Street of what turned out to be the general election call. The speculation for a time then, led by Sky’s Adam Boulton, was that she was going because of her health.
Whatever it is hard to see her sticking at Number 10 until the next election and there must be a high chance of a by-election.